|Need For Speed - PG-13||Plenty of action, but little to admire in terms of story plot. The characters also seem somewhat shallow, as they can be easily separated into "good" and "evil". The car race scenes are mostly genuine shots though (not CGI), so that somewhat makes up for what it lacks.||August 18, 2014||N/A|
|The Wolf of Wall Street - R||What a long-winded drama! Nearly three hours of duration. It has a quality cast and film-making (especially because DiCaprio plays the main role), but I pity the fact that the movie tends to be more sympathetic towards Wall Street bankers instead of condemning their indecent lifestyle.||June 24, 2014||N/A|
|Yeolliji (Now and Forever) - Unrated||Having watched many Korean romantic dramas, I can say that this one is a tad too predictable. Even reading the synopsis would tell you the whole story. There is a little twist at the end, but not too much to even make it a more interesting movie. It is deeply romantic though, so if you are into that sort of thing, then this movie is definitely for you.||June 23, 2014||N/A|
|How I Live Now - R||Though the romance type might turn some people off from watching (which I won't divulge in order to avoid spoiling the story), I still find it a cute romantic drama. The sense of emergency is added with some apocalyptic fascist war theme in the middle of it. There is nothing else in it though, which is the reason why I rank "How I Live Now" with a mere 3.5 stars||June 21, 2014||N/A|
|The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - PG-13||This sequel to the first Hobbit movie does not have much of a story line, but overall it is a visual delight. The action scenes are also filled with a decent amount of suspense.||June 17, 2014||N/A|
|Stolen Seas - Unrated||The amazing thing about this documentary is that it tells the other side of piracy in the gulf of Aden...story of a country (Somalia) abandoned by the international world even when its neighbours get much-sought help after their respective independence. In a country where there is absolutely no way of escaping poverty (except thru crime and corruption), these pirates are simply looking to improve the lives of their families and their villages. This documentary opens our eyes about the fact that the Western countries choose to tackle the problem by sending more battleships to deter the piracy problem instead of helping to build schools and hospitals to ameliorate the conditions of Somalians. Sad.||June 16, 2014||N/A|
|12 Years a Slave - R||"12 Years a Slave" does not hold back on any of the scenes. It is a full-scale unleashing of what it was like to live as a black man in USA in the 19th century, as a free man and a slave alike. Excellent acting by the main actors, especially Ejiofor and Fassbender. It has a quality of moviemaking rarely matched in most other historical dramas, and I admire the noble act of the director Steve McQueen and his cast for having given voice to the African Americans in the 19th century.||June 12, 2014||N/A|
|Last Love - Unrated||
"Last Love" is a slow-paced drama about life and death which, unlike most others that run on similar theme, does not go into psychological stuff. Rather, the drama explores how Matthew (played by Michael Caine) fixes his relationship with his two children after the death of his wife (who appears in form of flashback shadows). Along the way, he is guided by the help of his newfound friend Pauline (Clémence Poésy). Nothing inappropriate happens between Matthew and Pauline, as their bond is strictly one that can be found between a father and a daughter.
The fact that the drama is based in 6th arrondissement of Paris, plus soundtrack from the likes of Norah Jones make it suitable for a pre-bedtime watch.
|June 10, 2014||N/A|
|Inequality For All - PG||
I believe that this is one of the most important documentaries of the decade, as it opens our eyes to the actual widening income gap that has been in existence not just for the last decade. Rather, the roots go further than that: they were a combination of Reagan's economics and a series of policies that favour the rich more over the last four decades.
This movie has more credibility than others of similar topic, because the narrator Robert Reich was Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. He also repeatedly argues that he is for, not against, capitalism.
Overall, Reich's simple persona, compounded with the fact that he is of comical nature, is guaranteed to persuade the audience into making capitalism work: not just for the select few who are privileged, but for all (including those who are not educated).
|June 2, 2014||N/A|
|Diana - PG-13||Naomi Watts does not fill the shoes of the princess too well, and it's not exactly her fault: Lady Di is much too legendary to be portrayed by any actress. As a drama per se, it is a decent watch. However, is a pity that the director Hirschbiegel summarizes the entire life of Diana solely on the accounts of the last two years of her life. Her relationship with her sons, which was of higher importance to her than anything else, was not mentioned at all apart from the princes being the topic of her private conversations.||June 1, 2014||N/A|
|King of Devil's Island - Unrated||A drama based on true story about the notorious boys' prison in Norway that was shut down several decades ago. Just like other dramas based on prison life, this drama displays how good deeds and monstrosity alike can be found in either side. The latter half of the movie, while not entirely satisfactory, is deeply haunting and would leave the audience somewhat heart-broken. Nonetheless, it is overall a very worthy watch, especially for those who always long to see justice established on both sides.||May 29, 2014||N/A|
|Last Night - R||A rather long-winded romantic drama that displays two individuals with a night of infidelity when the husband is out of town. The wife bumps into an old lover, while the husband has a somewhat passionate night with his colleague. Too bad it leaves out the aftermath of what happens the day after... The usage of a "twist ending" does not seem to be appropriate in a story like this. For the main actors, Keira Knightley and Guillaume Canet seem to be the only ones with decent acting. The onscreen chemistry between Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes is deeply lacking, especially since Worthington has a taciturn role.||May 27, 2014||N/A|
|Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - PG-13||A beautiful movie that focuses more on Nelson Mandela the man instead of Nelson Mandela the leader. The drama also shows how Winnie Mandela's life unfolded when her husband was in prison: it provides a fresh insight into how Winnie's struggle largely represents her husbands interests (though later she and Nelson went on opposite paths on the struggle against apartheid). Both Idris Elba and Naomie Harris don't resemble the characters they portray in the least, but it does not stop them from giving superb acting on the screen||April 30, 2014||N/A|
|Prete-moi ta main (I Do: How to Get Married and Stay Single) - Unrated||"Prête-moi ta main" is such a sweet and funny French romantic comedy. The on-screen chemistry between Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg is rather odd, but it does not distract the audience from the enjoyment of the story. They are both such excellent actors!||April 23, 2014||N/A|
|The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - PG-13||I have not read the book, hence I cannot compare/contrast anything between the book and the movie. I do love this sequel of The Hunger Games though, especially for the fact that it delivers an implicit criticism of what capitalism at its worst might look like. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson lack onscreen chemistry, but it does not distract the overall enjoyment of the movie. Both actors deliver well with superb acting skills. I cannot wait to watch the next installment in the franchise.||April 21, 2014||N/A|
|Daenseo-ui sunjeong (Innocent Steps) - Unrated||"Innocent Steps" is a very cute romantic Korean drama that mixes good dancing with a solid love story. Knowing the usual sad ending formula to Korean dramas, I initially expected the ending to disappoint. But this one defied my expectation.||April 19, 2014||N/A|
|Noah - PG-13||This sci-fi take on the biblical tale of Noah's ark deviated from the original so much that one could understand why the story offends religious conservatives worldwide. Nonetheless, as an apocalyptic-themed drama per se, "Noah" looks more like if Michael Bay's Transformer franchise was remade into an epic drama. Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly lack on-screen chemistry to portray Noah and his wife, but having Emma Watson portraying the daughter-in-law is a delight to the eye.||April 9, 2014||N/A|
|Max Schmeling - Unrated||"Max Schmeling" is a decent movie on one of the most admirable German athletes of all time. He had to live through the Nazi regime, but the fact remained that he was never sympathetic to the Nazi cause. This movie showed his life as it was: little dramatization, and sole focus on his life story. The only drawback is the fact that nearly the entire duration of the movie is told in terms of flashback...it could have been better if it was told in "present" time of the plot itself.||March 31, 2014||N/A|
|The Fifth Estate - R||"The Fifth Estate" shows Assange's dedication to the truth even at his personal cost. This action drama does start out with Assange as a saint, but later on it shows his less-endearing traits. Cumberbatch's portrayal of him makes Assange a character hard to sympathize with... A ruthless character who is willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of truth...is that really the kind of person on whom we would entrust our confidential information with? Nonetheless, this is a thrilling movie that hardly includes any gun shootings, except for Assange's allies elsewhere in the world who are suffering the consequences of sharing the truth.||March 17, 2014||N/A|
|Reconciliation: Mandela's Miracle - PG-13||A respectful homage to one of the greatest political figures of all time.||March 13, 2014||N/A|
|Cheongchun-manhwa (Almost Love) - Unrated||"Almost Love" is a beautiful love story between two lifelong best friends.||March 12, 2014||N/A|
|The Act Of Killing - Unrated||
The fact that none of the Indonesian crew members are willing to have their names put in the credit (they all appear as "ANONYMOUS") is already a testament to how chilling this documentary is.
"The Act of Killing" shows what is today a taboo topic in Indonesia: communist-cleansing in the 1960s. Despite being a democracy, there are still a lot of discrepancies in today's Indonesian history textbooks regarding who were the actual evil of those days: the PKI (Communist Party) members or the rest of the Indonesian people? This movie shows who the real assholes were/are.
The reason I give this docu 2.5 stars is because it lacks survivors' or victim families' testimonies on THEIR side of the story. I know that they are probably too afraid to come forward to speak in front of camera, but still, the crew could have obscured their face and gave them pseudonyms.
|March 10, 2014||N/A|
|Duplex (Our House) - PG-13||Duplex is a dark comedy that keeps the audience to the edge of the seat while laughing out loud. It is that good. Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore make an odd couple, but they play their roles well. Plus, the ending has a twist too.||March 7, 2014||N/A|
|Lee Daniels' The Butler - PG-13||"The Butler" is an epic movie that gives an homage not just to the butler who serves as the source of the story, but also to the struggle of African Americans in achieving their unity. Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey play the main roles beautifully.||February 27, 2014||N/A|
|Graduation - PG-13||A smart heist movie with a somewhat surprising ending. The progress of the story is not as predictable as the first 10 minutes seem to suggest.||February 4, 2014||N/A|